From 29 July 2022 pre-paid funeral plan providers must be regulated by the FCA to sell and administer plans. Find out how the Financial Ombudsman will be able to help with complaints after this date.
What are pre-paid funeral plans?
Pre-paid funeral plans are products that allow you to pre-arrange and pre-pay for your funeral, generally for a fixed cost. You can buy a plan for yourself, or someone else, for example, a partner. They can be sold directly by funeral plan providers or by a third party, for example a funeral director.
Many providers have set plans or packages available for customers to choose from. Or a plan can be tailored to specific needs. The plan will often specify the requirements for funeral arrangements, such as the type of coffin you want, the type of transport used and whether there will be pallbearers.
Can I complain to the Financial Ombudsman about funeral plans?
You’ll be able to complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service from 29 July 2022 about events that take place after 29 July 2022 with firms regulated by the FCA.
We might be able to help with complaints after 29 July 2022 but about events that took place before that date in specific circumstances, as long as:
- your plan provider was a member of the Funeral Planning Authority at the time of the event you’re complaining about, and
- you’ve not previously made the same complaint to the FPA.
What’s the current position with funeral plan providers?
At the moment there’s no requirement for anyone who sells or provides funeral plans to be regulated by the FCA. The Financial Ombudsman Service cannot help with complaints about funeral plans until after 29 July 2022.
But there is a voluntary regulation scheme, the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA). Plan providers can choose to become members of the FPA and if a consumer has a dispute with a FPA plan provider, they can contact the FPA who’ll try to resolve things for them. If they remain unhappy, they can escalate their complaint to an independent dispute resolution service.
Find out more about the Funeral Planning Authority.
What does this change mean for my existing funeral plan?
If your current plan provider doesn’t intend to become regulated, it means they’ll no longer be able to conduct any funeral plan business after 29 July 2022. This includes selling new plans and administering existing ones. So they should be contacting you to explain the changes and tell you what’s happening with your plan.
If you have any concerns about a current plan, in the first instance you should contact your plan provider.
Where can I find out more about this?
You can read more about the regulation of funeral plans, including how to search for providers’ authorisation status, on the Financial Conduct Authority’s website